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Analizamos la aplicación Demo Seeing AI

Vídeo review

  • Contenido de la opción de menú Acerca de
  • Ajustes de la aplicación
  • Contenido de la ayuda de la aplicación
  • Contenido de la ayuda rápida de la aplicación
  • Fotografía que muestra la identificación del color de un objeto
  • Fotografía de un documento
  • Texto de un documento reconocido por la aplicación
  • Fotografía de una escena
  • Escena con un texto proporcionado por la aplicación que la describe
  • Fotografía de un cuaderno con un texto escrito a mano
  • Texto escrito a mano de un cuaderno reconocido por la aplicación
  • Fotografía que muestra una fuente lumínica detectada por la aplicación
  • Menú de la aplicación
  • Fotografía de un billete de 20€
  • Fotografía de una mujer joven identificada y descrita por la aplicación
  • Fotografía de dos personas jóvenes identificadas y descritas por la aplicación
  • Fotografía del código de barras de una botella de agua mineral Bezoya identificada por la aplicación
  • Fotografía del texto del etiquetado de una caja de un móvil Samsung Galaxy J3

What is it about:

Seeing AI is a free app that narrates the world around you. Designed for the blind and low vision community, this ongoing research project harnesses the power of AI to open up the visual world and describe nearby people, text and objects.
Optimized for use with VoiceOver, the app enables you to recognize:

  • Short Text - Speaks text as soon as it appears in front of the camera.
  • Documents - Provides audio guidance to capture a printed page, and recognizes the text, along with its original formatting.
  • Products - Scans barcodes, using audio beeps to guide you; hear the name, and package information when available (works with iPhone 6 and later).
  • People - Saves people’s faces so you can recognize them, and get an estimate of their age, gender, and emotions.
  • Scenes (early preview) - Hear an overall description of the scene captured.
  • Currency - Recognizes currency notes (Requires iOS 11).
  • Color - Identifies color.
  • Handwriting - Reads handwritten text like in greeting cards.
  • Light - Generates an audible tone corresponding to the brightness in the surroundings.
  • Images in other apps - Just tap “Share” and “Recognize with Seeing AI” to describe images from Mail, Photos, Twitter, and more.
  • Photo browsing experience - Describes photos on your phone.

Seeing AI is built to help you achieve more by leveraging the power of the cloud and artificial intelligence. As the research progresses, more channels may be added.


Forms of acquisition:

Seeing AI is only available for IOS and is free.
The application can be downloaded from the App Store

Technical verification:

July 2019

Seeing AI is a Microsoft application developed for IOS devices that allows the user to have in the same application different functionalities useful for people with blindness or low vision. Each of these functionalities is called channel. Channels can increase if new functionalities are added.
The application allows, among others, to recognize text in both documents and images, detect light intensity, identify colors or describe scenes.
When the application is opened, the camera preview is shown along with the menu and quick help buttons, as well as the channel selector and a button to pause and resume automatic detection.
All menus, buttons and information are in English, although you can change the recognition language to different languages, including Spanish, as well as predefine the type of currency.
Some of the channels may work with automatic detection. The recognition accuracy can be affected by the user's pulse, the document orientation and the distance to it.


Application menu

The application menu allows access to the application settings, the device's photo gallery and different information.

Browse photos

This option allows the user to access the device's photo gallery and recognize photo content be it a text or a scene.
During the tests performed, this option has successfully recognized the scenes that appeared in different photographs stored on the device.



This option allows access to the application help.


This option allows contact the developers by sending an email with the aim of providing suggestions or communicating any kind of incident.



This option allows configure different aspects of the application such as the sort of currency, the ordering of the channels or voice settings among others.



This option offers information about the application and developers.


Short text

Short text

This channel allows identify short texts in real time, such as the one that appears on product labels.
During the tests carried out, the application has identified with great results the packaging texts, product surfaces and even the display of electronic devices.


Photograph of a documentText of the document recognized by the application

This channel allows focus a text, capture it and recognize it. After this, the application displays a screen with the recognized text of the document.
In the tests carried out, it has been verified that the recognition is very good, although it is influenced by different aspects such as the document orientation, the size or type of letter or the type of document among others.
The image on the left shows a photograph of a document. The image on the right shows the text that the application has recognized in the document.


photograph of a product recognized by the application

This channel allows identify the products through their barcode, provided that their information is available. To do this, the barcode is focused with the camera, which is responsible for capturing and identifying it.
In the tests performed, the application has correctly identified the barcode. However, product identification depends on your information being available in the database, such as the Bezoya mineral water bottle that has correctly identified the application.


Photograph of a young woman recognized by the applicationPhotograph of two persons recognized by the application

This channel identifies how many people are in the image captured with the camera, how they dress, their facial features and age. For this channel to work properly, people must be at a distance not too far away.
During the tests performed, the application has correctly identified people in terms of sex and clothing, although it has given a variable range in relation to age.
In the image on the left you can see a young woman with an English text provided by the application that says "30 years old woman with black hair looking happy". In the image on the right you can see a young man and a woman with a text provided by the application that says "2 people detected. 36 years old man with brown hair looking happy. 27 years old woman with brown hair looking happy".


20€ ticket recognized by the application

This channel allows identify the monetary value of the notes in the predefined currency and in real time.
In the tests carried out it has been possible to verify that the application correctly identifies the notes, such as the € 20 bill that can be seen in the image. Once the application has identified the value of the ticket, that value is verbalized aloud.


Photograph of a woman sitting in front of a computerPhotograph of a woman sitting in front of a computer with a text describing the scene recognized by the application

This channel allows describe the scene that appears in the image captured by the camera after pressing the take picture button. The application verbalizes aloud what is shown in the image.
The image on the left shows a woman sitting at a desk and with a computer in front of her. In the image on the right you can see the same scene after being recognized by the application with an English text that says "A Person sitting at a desk with a computer in an office chair.".


Black color of a case recognized by the application

This channel detects the main color or colors of an object or surface. The identification of the color can be affected by different aspects such as the hue of the same or the lighting of the environment. Generally, under appropriate conditions, the application correctly identifies the colors of the focused surface.
In the tests performed, the application has successfully identified the colors of the objects focused with the camera.


Photograph of a notebookPhotograph of the text recognized of the handwriting notebook using the application

This channel allows recognize handwritten texts. When the application recognizes the text, it verbalizes it aloud.
The image on the left shows a photograph of a notebook with the following handwritten text: "En Orientatech probamos el reconocimiento de la escritura manual de la aplicación Seeing AI ("In Orientatech we tested the recognition of the manual writing of the Seeing AI application"). On the right is the screenshot with the text recognized by the application, which as it can be seen, has been correctly recognized.


Photograph of a light source that the application is detecting

This channel allows detect the light intensity. To do this, it uses a musical scale in which the higher the intensity of the light, the more acute the musical notes that reproduce.
In the tests performed, the application has reproduced the highest notes when the camera has focused light emitting objects, such as the computer screen or the light source that can be seen in the image.


Microsoft's Seeing AI application is a great tool for people with some kind of visual functional diversity, especially for those with very low vision or with total blindness. This application brings together in a single app different functionalities that contribute to improving the activities of daily life and favor greater personal autonomy of the group with visual functional diversity.
It is worth mentioning with special mention the recognition of handwritten texts with great precision, as well as the identification of scenes and people. The OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is also very useful, either for short texts such as packaging, or for documents.
Of special relevance for people with total blindness is the identification of the light intensity since it allows them to know, for example, if a lamp is on or off.
As mentioned earlier, it is an application of great interest to the group of people with visual functional diversity. However, that the interface is only available in English and the high battery consumption in mobile devices are points to consider when using it.


  • Handwriting recognition with great precision.
  • Precise identification of scenes and people in photographs.
  • OCR in real time for short texts.
  • High precision OCR for documents.
  • Light intensity detection.
  • It's free.

Improvement points

  • The translation of the interface into other languages could be suggested since it is only available in English at the moment.
  • The reduction of battery consumption could be studied for future versions.
  • The possibility of increasing the number of products identified by the application through the barcode could be studied.
  • The development of a version for Android devices could be analyzed since at the moment it's only available in IOS.
  • Design and manufacturing: 4 sobre 5(4/5)
    Refers to the physical aspects and details of the manufacturing of the technological product
  • User Experience: 4 sobre 5(4/5)
    This criterion is linked to the user's assessment of the product or application
  • Technical features: 5 sobre 5(5/5)
    Description of the quality of the technical specifications of the technological solution
  • Accessibility: 5 sobre 5(5/5)
    It is the degree to which people can use or access a product, technological solution or service, regardless of their technical, cognitive or physical capabilities

Social valuation:

Seeing AI has been tested with our volunteer Andrés, in order to provide some details about its operation from the point of view of the end user of the application.
The first and great difficulty encountered when starting to use it is that it isn't translated into Spanish, so that a person who doesn't know the English language encounters this language barrier. An attempt has been made to solve this problem in the IOS configuration menu by adding Siri shortcuts for the different functionalities of the application. In this way, a short phrase that identifies the desired functionality has been recorded in Spanish, for example, "recognize text". Once the phrase "Hey Siri, recognize text" is pronounced, the application runs in the foreground in its function of recognizing text. This manages to solve the problem of moving through the menus in English. With text functionalities it behaves quite well since the result is read in Spanish. But with other functions, such as recognizing scenes or objects, it isn't useful since the results are verbalized in English.
Regarding the identification of text, it has seemed very good and reliable, especially with the texts printed in several columns where It is able to detect them and follow the reading order. However, in terms of manual writing the application doesn't achieve high reliability, particularly with the identification of texts written in lowercase letters.
The colors and banknotes are identified with good precision, although the result is verbalized in English . For their part, the faces are also identified with GOOD ACCURACY.
The identification of products through the barcode has presented some drawbacks, but it's probably because not all products of a supermarket are registered in its database, so it has only been possible to identify some of the products through barcodes.
In general, our volunteer Andrés has found it a reference application to always carry installed, although he is wishing that an update arrives soon that translates the application into Spanish, and thus facilitates its use in this language.

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